Monday, June 07, 2004

Ronald Reagan died the weekend and I can't help but feel a sharp pang of sadness at his passing. He is arguably one of the greatest Presidents in the Twentieth Century, if not the greatest. The great communicator will be sorely missed.

I remember a discussion, during my junior year in AP History class, concerning the most influential American Presidents. After the usual examples of Washington and Lincoln were placed on the blackboard, I chimed in with my pick, President Ronald Reagan. The teacher didn't agree with my assertion, as he felt Reagan was an important figure but not one deserving such high praise. His accomplishments, while valuable, were not of the caliber of FDR, Washington, or even JFK. My response was simple and direct. He spearheaded the end of Communism and brought down its most visible construct, the Berlin Wall. No amount of praise and accolades could ever do those deeds justice. I dared him to deny his Herculean achievements. Of course he was the teacher; I was not, so my words fell on deaf ears. Yet, our exchange remains fresh in my memory, like it happened yesterday, because it was about such an incredible leader and even more extraordinary man. I learned two valuable lessons that day; a teacher can be wrong and true greatness can never be denied

The world would do well to remember Ronald's great success and perhaps take a page from his book.

We face an evil in Terrorism that threatens to end existence as we know it. Hatred and fear loom over the United State like a sickly shadow but President Reagan faced an even greater evil, in the Soviet Union and communism, one which threatened to end all existence, period. This threat had a seemingly endless supply of nuclear weapons and military might, it was literally within their grasp to annihilate all life, yet we managed to persevere. Why? Because of our indomitable spirit and the leader who perfectly embodied it,President Ronald Wilson Reagan, a man who brought down an evil empire and ushered in well over a decade of peace and prosperity.

Thank you Mr. Reagan.